Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'M A CALVINIST, NOT A HYPER-CALVINIST
...my first response to David Allen per his remarks following the John 3:16 Conference

I was forwarded a statement by a fellow blogger and friend who recently informed me that David Allen had called James White and I Hyper-Calvinists in some follow-up remarks post his appearance at the John 3:16 Conference. Apparently Allen encouraged people not to link to my blog, read my blog, or basically partner with me in ministry because of what he perceives to be Hyper-Calvinism in my beliefs.

Here is his quote: For example, Ascol, on the Founders Ministries website, even links to Steve Camp, who also denies God's universal saving desire, with the additional explicit denials of common grace and general love. Can anyone say that Steve Camp does not meet Phil Johnson's criteria on hyper-Calvinism?

For the record, I am not a Hyper-Calvinist; and I do agree, for the most part, with Phil Johnson's primer as well.  

And to David Allen, if you are reading my blog today I want you to know that my door, email and phone are always open to you. I would also like to extend an invitation to you to debate this issue publicly in the spirit of Christian charity and fidelity for the truth in any venue of your choice. The only thing that I would request of you is that we defend and proclaim our beliefs on these issues ultimately by the authority and veracity of the Word of God. I await your reply.

Here is, however, what I do believe, in part, on this issue: 
  • I do believe in the doctrines of grace (Roms. 3:21-31); 
  • I do believe in the Sovereignty of God in the salvation of men's souls (Eph. 2:1-5); 
  • I do believe there is an elect people, chosen by God in Christ Jesus in times past eternal before the foundations of the world (Titus 1:1; 2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 1:3-6); 
  • I do believe that God has chosen some as vessels of mercy and others as vessels of wrath (Roms. 9:11-23); 
  • I do believe that God's desire and His decrees are in perfect unity and that His will be glorified and His power magnified either by lavishing the riches of His grace upon the elect unto salvation or His eternal wrath upon the nonelect unto destruction (Roms. 9:18-23);
  • I do believe that salvation is all of grace and entirely of the Lord; that faith is a gift; and that man does not, nor cannot, cooperate with God in salvation (Eph. 2:1-9); 
  • I do believe that regeneration precedes faith and is entirely a ministry and work of the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-16; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Cor. 12:3); 
  • I do believe that faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ (Roms. 10:17);
  • I do believe that God grants a common kindness and benevolence upon all people - saved or not (Matt. 5:40ff; Psalm 145:2)); 
  • and that the gospel is not an offer, but a command to follow Christ Jesus as Lord, repent of your sins, and a compelling to be reconciled to God freely given to all hearers by His servants indiscriminately (Matt. 16:24-26; 2 Cor. 5:13-21; Acts 17:30ff; Roms. 10:9-10). 
But also, that sound doctrine and biblical theology does not make any believer in the Lord Jesus silent about "the faith" (Jude 3; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Cor. 9:16; Roms. 15:20; Acts 20:24). On the contrary, it makes us more vocal, unashamed and bold to proclaim the gospel and gives us a burden for all to hear and receive the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life (cp Roms. 9:1-5)! I am passionate about evangelism and have preached the gospel all around the world for the past 30 years calling people to repentance in the Lord Jesus Christ by grace through faith alone for salvation.

My first installment of a sort of rebuttal to David Allen's nefarious charge, is to point historically to the "birth-place" of Calvinism - The Canons of Dort. What follows below is section one of Dort's findings in response to the error of Arminius (David Allen's Calvin); and to some of the doctrinal essentials on what Allen would almost surely label as Hyper-Calvinism. I simply refer to them as nothing less than biblical Christianity.

More to come this week...

Article 1: God's Right to Condemn All People
Since all people have sinned in Adam and have come under the sentence of the curse and eternal death, God would have done no one an injustice if it had been his will to leave the entire human race in sin and under the curse, and to condemn them on account of their sin. As the apostle says: The whole world is liable to the condemnation of God (Rom. 3:19), All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), and The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).*

--*All quotations from Scripture are translations of the original Latin manuscript.--

Article 2: The Manifestation of God's Love
But this is how God showed his love: he sent his only begotten Son into the world, so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Article 3: The Preaching of the Gospel
In order that people may be brought to faith, God mercifully sends proclaimers of this very joyful message to the people he wishes and at the time he wishes. By this ministry people are called to repentance and faith in Christ crucified. For how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without someone preaching? And how shall they preach unless they have been sent? (Rom. 10:14-15).

Article 4: A Twofold Response to the Gospel
God's anger remains on those who do not believe this gospel. But those who do accept it and embrace Jesus the Savior with a true and living faith are delivered through him from God's anger and from destruction, and receive the gift of eternal life.

Article 5: The Sources of Unbelief and of Faith
The cause or blame for this unbelief, as well as for all other sins, is not at all in God, but in man. Faith in Jesus Christ, however, and salvation through him is a free gift of God. As Scripture says, It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8). Likewise: It has been freely given to you to believe in Christ (Phil. 1:29).

Article 6: God's Eternal Decision
The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from his eternal decision. For all his works are known to God from eternity (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11). In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us his act--unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just--of distinguishing between people equally lost. This is the well-known decision of election and reprobation revealed in God's Word. This decision the wicked, impure, and unstable distort to their own ruin, but it provides holy and godly souls with comfort beyond words.

Article 7: Election
Election [or choosing] is God's unchangeable purpose by which he did the following:

Before the foundation of the world, by sheer grace, according to the free good pleasure of his will, he chose in Christ to salvation a definite number of particular people out of the entire human race, which had fallen by its own fault from its original innocence into sin and ruin. Those chosen were neither better nor more deserving than the others, but lay with them in the common misery. He did this in Christ, whom he also appointed from eternity to be the mediator, the head of all those chosen, and the foundation of their salvation. And so he decided to give the chosen ones to Christ to be saved, and to call and draw them effectively into Christ's fellowship through his Word and Spirit. In other words, he decided to grant them true faith in Christ, to justify them, to sanctify them, and finally, after powerfully preserving them in the fellowship of his Son, to glorify them.

God did all this in order to demonstrate his mercy, to the praise of the riches of his glorious grace.

As Scripture says, God chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, so that we should be holy and blameless before him with love; he predestined us whom he adopted as his children through Jesus Christ, in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, by which he freely made us pleasing to himself in his beloved (Eph. 1:4-6). And elsewhere, Those whom he predestined, he also called; and those whom he called, he also justified; and those whom he justified, he also glorified (Rom. 8:30).

Article 8: A Single Decision of Election
This election is not of many kinds; it is one and the same election for all who were to be saved in the Old and the New Testament. For Scripture declares that there is a single good pleasure, purpose, and plan of God's will, by which he chose us from eternity both to grace and to glory, both to salvation and to the way of salvation, which he prepared in advance for us to walk in.

Article 9: Election Not Based on Foreseen Faith
This same election took place, not on the basis of foreseen faith, of the obedience of faith, of holiness, or of any other good quality and disposition, as though it were based on a prerequisite cause or condition in the person to be chosen, but rather for the purpose of faith, of the obedience of faith, of holiness, and so on. Accordingly, election is the source of each of the benefits of salvation. Faith, holiness, and the other saving gifts, and at last eternal life itself, flow forth from election as its fruits and effects. As the apostle says, He chose us (not because we were, but) so that we should be holy and blameless before him in love (Eph. 1:4).

Article 10: Election Based on God's Good Pleasure
But the cause of this undeserved election is exclusively the good pleasure of God. This does not involve his choosing certain human qualities or actions from among all those possible as a condition of salvation, but rather involves his adopting certain particular persons from among the common mass of sinners as his own possession. As Scripture says, When the children were not yet born, and had done nothing either good or bad..., she (Rebecca) was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated" (Rom. 9:11-13). Also, All who were appointed for eternal life believed (Acts 13:48).

Article 11: Election Unchangeable
Just as God himself is most wise, unchangeable, all-knowing, and almighty, so the election made by him can neither be suspended nor altered, revoked, or annulled; neither can his chosen ones be cast off, nor their number reduced.

Article 12: The Assurance of Election
Assurance of this their eternal and unchangeable election to salvation is given to the chosen in due time, though by various stages and in differing measure. Such assurance comes not by inquisitive searching into the hidden and deep things of God, but by noticing within themselves, with spiritual joy and holy delight, the unmistakable fruits of election pointed out in God's Word-- such as a true faith in Christ, a childlike fear of God, a godly sorrow for their sins, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, and so on.

Article 13: The Fruit of This Assurance
In their awareness and assurance of this election God's children daily find greater cause to humble themselves before God, to adore the fathomless depth of his mercies, to cleanse themselves, and to give fervent love in return to him who first so greatly loved them. This is far from saying that this teaching concerning election, and reflection upon it, make God's children lax in observing his commandments or carnally self-assured. By God's just judgment this does usually happen to those who casually take for granted the grace of election or engage in idle and brazen talk about it but are unwilling to walk in the ways of the chosen.

Article 14: Teaching Election Properly
Just as, by God's wise plan, this teaching concerning divine election has been proclaimed through the prophets, Christ himself, and the apostles, in Old and New Testament times, and has subsequently been committed to writing in the Holy Scriptures, so also today in God's church, for which it was specifically intended, this teaching must be set forth--with a spirit of discretion, in a godly and holy manner, at the appropriate time and place, without inquisitive searching into the ways of the Most High. This must be done for the glory of God's most holy name, and for the lively comfort of his people.

Article 15: Reprobation
Moreover, Holy Scripture most especially highlights this eternal and undeserved grace of our election and brings it out more clearly for us, in that it further bears witness that not all people have been chosen but that some have not been chosen or have been passed by in God's eternal election-- those, that is, concerning whom God, on the basis of his entirely free, most just, irreproachable, and unchangeable good pleasure, made the following decision: to leave them in the common misery into which, by their own fault, they have plunged themselves; not to grant them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but finally to condemn and eternally punish them (having been left in their own ways and under his just judgment), not only for their unbelief but also for all their other sins, in order to display his justice. And this is the decision of reprobation, which does not at all make God the author of sin (a blasphemous thought!) but rather its fearful, irreproachable, just judge and avenger.

Article 16: Responses to the Teaching of Reprobation
Those who do not yet actively experience within themselves a living faith in Christ or an assured confidence of heart, peace of conscience, a zeal for childlike obedience, and a glorying in God through Christ, but who nevertheless use the means by which God has promised to work these things in us--such people ought not to be alarmed at the mention of reprobation, nor to count themselves among the reprobate; rather they ought to continue diligently in the use of the means, to desire fervently a time of more abundant grace, and to wait for it in reverence and humility. On the other hand, those who seriously desire to turn to God, to be pleasing to him alone, and to be delivered from the body of death, but are not yet able to make such progress along the way of godliness and faith as they would like--such people ought much less to stand in fear of the teaching concerning reprobation, since our merciful God has promised that he will not snuff out a smoldering wick and that he will not break a bruised reed. However, those who have forgotten God and their Savior Jesus Christ and have abandoned themselves wholly to the cares of the world and the pleasures of the flesh--such people have every reason to stand in fear of this teaching, as long as they do not seriously turn to God.

Article 17: The Salvation of the Infants of Believers
Since we must make judgments about God's will from his Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature but by virtue of the gracious covenant in which they together with their parents are included, godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom God calls out of this life in infancy.

Article 18: The Proper Attitude Toward Election and Reprobation
To those who complain about this grace of an undeserved election and about the severity of a just reprobation, we reply with the words of the apostle, Who are you, O man, to talk back to God? (Rom. 9:20), and with the words of our Savior, Have I no right to do what I want with my own? (Matt. 20:15). We, however, with reverent adoration of these secret things, cry out with the apostle: Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways beyond tracing out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Or who has first given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen (Rom. 11:33-36).

35 comments:

Arthur Sido said...

brother, you are kind of a high energy guy. maybe he meant that you are a Calvinist and you are a little hyperactive?

Darrin said...

We are surely greatly indebted to our brothers of old at Dordt for their arduous and brilliant work, by God's grace.
Thanks, brother Camp, for upholding historical orthodoxy.

SJ Camp said...

Arthur
Good one!

However, I don't think that that is what he had in mind.

Campi

SJ Camp said...

Darrin
Indebted indeed!

What Dort stood for was nothing less than the gospel itself. May we do the same in our day.

Steve

Don P said...

When I first got saved, I was attending a church where the pastor taught Calvinism thusly- If we are dead in our trespasses and sins, a dead man is unable to cry out for help, he's dead!. Also, as to adoption,if you have it in mind to adopt a child, it is not the child who selects the parent, but the parent who selects the child. Does that make me Hyper Calvinist?

The Heretic said...

Someone pleas correct me if I'm wrong: I believe I read somewhere that the Remonstrants were offered to defend their points through Scripture but refused. After several tries they walked away from the Synod and it convened without them.If it is true, it seems to be the same way today. Again, not sure and I wish I could remember where i read it; It was in a book and don't remember the name of it.

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Steve:

If you will check Phil Johnson's definition of Hyper Calvinism, he included those who deny means in regeneration.

He said:

"Hyper-Calvinism is sometimes defined as the view that God will save the elect apart from any means. Some, but very few, modern hyper-Calvinists hold such an extreme view. Those who do hold this view oppose all forms of evangelism and preaching to the unsaved, because they believe God will save whomever He chooses, apart from human means...Another common but incorrect definition equates hyper-Calvinism with fatalism."

see here

So, he did include those who deny means in regeneration. The Hardshells are not the only ones who fit this description. John Hendryx says, as I showed you awhile back, in comment here, that there are no means in regeneration. So did Shedd, Frame, etc. Are these then not Hypers?

Also, note how Johnson says this is a "correct" definition of Hyper Calvinism, though not "common."

Blessings,

Stephen

Chad V. said...

Steve
It's that pesky phrase "universal saving will or desire". It's loaded with arminian baggage. Calvinism doesn't speak in terms of God's universal saving will. It speaks of his preceptive will verses his decretive will. If Allen won't engage Calvinists on those points, he seems to refuse to, then he will never understand Calvinism.

Neither you nor James White are hypers and anyone who properly understands Calvinism knows this. If Allen wants to encourage people to cut you off, Steve, let him. His uncharitability and his lack of proper understanding of the issues will speak for it's self.

His imposing on Calvinists the term "universal saving will" as his own shibboleth is nothing more than dishonest revisionism. Unfortunately I've experienced my share of people trying to redefine Calvinism and reformed theology into something it clearly is not and never was.

This storm will pass Steve. Your position is clear to any one who actually wants to know the truth. So, I agree that you can defend yourself but remember that it's the Lord who defends us when we are falsely accused.

Keep up the good work Steve.

Darrin said...

Heretic (profile name!),
The general sense I get is that a small group of Remonstrants was invited as spokesmen, but that they were regularly uncooperative, disrespectful toward the Synod, and refrained from giving direct answers to the Synod's questions regarding their beliefs. After enduring them for some time, they were asked to leave, and the Synod continued, having to use the Arminians' written work in order to defend the doctrine of the church against it. Of course you may hear quite a different version of history if you ask an Arminian. Even Baptist Frank Page, in his "Trouble with the TULIP", seems to complain that Calvinists don't like to mention that very few Arminians were present for the Synod. But if I were challenging well-established creeds of the faith (i.e. the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism) and demanding that the established church make changes to such confessions, should I expect to be in the majority at a church council?

Strong Tower said...

SG-

So you reject Dorht, what's new?

Tell us again, how was it that JtB was regenerated?

I noticed that you exchanged terms again. Pulling a Ynottony on us, huh?

you saith: he included those who deny means in regeneration

but Phil said: Hyper-Calvinism is sometimes defined as the view that God will save the elect apart from any means.


naughty, naughty

The Seeking Disciple said...

Well Steve I am an Arminian who reads your blog almost daily and while we don't see eye to eye on some issues, I believe you have a passion for Jesus that crosses doctrinal lines and allows me to embrace you fully as a dear brother in the Lord.

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear ST:

I don't know what you mean by "Dorht."

About John the Baptist, see my posts on that

here

and

here

I thought being born again, regenerated, renewed, and created in Christ Jesus, etc., was what it meant to be "saved." Why do keep denying that regeneration is a being saved?

Why do you, like the Hardshells, take a false hermeneutic principle to the Bible? One that says - "any passage that has a benefit coming after faith cannot be the new birth or regeneration"? One that says that any passage that puts salvation after faith must exclude regeneration?

How is the word of God a means in regeneration if regeneration must occur before one can be positively effected by the word? Or, how can one be regenerated by the word if he must be regenerated to hear the word? That is circular, a begging the question.

Since many Arminians read this blog, what will they think of you affirming that a "born again" person is not a "saved" person?

Blessings,

Stephen

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear ST:

P. S. Phil Johnson said that it was a "correct" view! Sigh.

He said there was a common and incorrect view that identified Hyper Calvinism with fatalism, but it was an uncommong yet correct view to call one a Hyper Calvinist if he denies the gospel is a means in salvation.

Now, you come back and say - "oh but that does not apply to us because, though we don't believe in means in regeneration, we do in the post regeneration work of conversion and salvation."

"You protesteth too much." If the Hyper Calvinist shoe fits, then wear it.

Blessings,

Stephen

gigantor1231 said...

Steve

Please forgive me, I know that my questioning and probing is a real pain at times but I have to ask you some questions that I have never received a satisfactory answer for from those who hold to being Calvinist at any level!

1. Was John Calvin a Calvinist or a Christian?

2. Would John Calvin be offended to know that there are those that use his name as a theological system I.D.?

3. If what Calvin spoke of was simply Biblical truth, 'The Word of God', then why is it not satisfactory to be known simply as a Christian, Biblical Christian etc... I am sure you follow my drift here?

Anyway, I hope this is not to simplistic or bothersome! I truly would like to hear your answer to this.

donsands said...

"Would John Calvin be offended to know that there are those that use his name as a theological system I.D.?"

I don't think offended, but he wouldn't like it for the fact that he was a humble man.

I use the name Reformed, or Calvinist, to make clear where my theology lands.

I call my non-Calvinist friends just that, or Non-Reformed, of Arminians, so that we can know where we are coming from.

I had a pastor who said he was a three point Calvinist, and I have heard others say this as well.

If someone wants to say I'm simply a Christian, that's fine with me. And then we can find out as we get to know each other whether he believes in predestination the same as I.

I am usually called a calvinist after other Christians get to know me.
Some of my friends call me a "flaming" Calvinist. I'm alright with the label. Not proud, mind you, but simply a tool to help others know me better.

Darrin said...

Stephen G,
Not sure if this is obvious to you or offensive, or somewhere in between:
We are regenerated by the Spirit, as seen in John 3, Ephesians 2, and other places. He takes dead men and makes them alive. We are not saved by the means, but by God; yet He has chosen the use of means in bringing His own to Himself. Thus we are saved BY grace THROUGH faith. God uses the means of the word to grant faith in the gospel. Regeneration and faith are not readily separable. He grants us both. We say that regeneration is a prerequesite for faith because a natural man cannot understand and will not desire the things of God; thus he is incapable of saving faith. The key is a monergistic understanding of soteriology - Grace alone - Salvation is of the Lord.

DrOakley said...

Hey Campi---

Welcome to the "broad-brush them rather than deal with them" club! I can testify, however, that you are quite hyper. The last time I saw you you were laughing hysterically at the dinner table, so, yes, you are hyper. As I recall, it had something to do with Michael and a snake. :-)

Anyway, what is this about challenging Dr. Allen to a debate? May I point out that I made my challenge first? :-) Besides, using a piano would be a decided violation of normal debate rules. So, here's the deal. I do the debates, you do the singing! In fact, how about you write a song with the theme that God will not be depressed throughout eternity because He willed His own desperate unhappiness? That seems to be what some are demanding we believe or they will lower the "hyper" boom on our heads.

:-)

james

SJ Camp said...

DrO
I thought we could tag team him. And I would only use half my piano tied behind my back just to keep it fair :-).

Now most people haven't heard you sing though. Folks... the good Dr. can not only debate, he can carve a melody too.

So you see my brother, there is much to be gained by both of us putting a little Dortian pressure to our "how to build a straw man without really trying" friend in Texas.

With the Canons, Calvin's Institutes, Gramcord, AND my new ESVSB and Reformation Study Bible notes all on my trusty iPhone - it would be a worth while time to face off with brother Allen.

See he knows you; you are clearly the "Intimidator." With me, he tinks I'm a musishun who can bearly spulll.

But listen, I will write a song for this debate (if it could actually happen) PLUS I am thinking of putting together a little Beatles medley in honor of our confused friend.

"Hey Jude" - Defending the Faith

"Hard Days Night" - post debate stress syndrome for brother Allen

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" - What Arminius saw while writing his ANALYSIS OF THE NINTH CHAPTER OF THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS

"Come Together" - so they won't think Calvinists are mean spirited and can't get along with anyone else :-)

"Eight Days a Week" - the time it takes David to read all Dave Hunt material on Calvinism that he deems important before showing up to face you...

And lastly, "We All Live in a Yellow Submarine" - Arminianism, see what drugs can lead too?

I love you James...
Campius

SJ Camp said...

In fact, how about you write a song with the theme that God will not be depressed throughout eternity because He willed His own desperate unhappiness?

I was just thinking about writing on that the other night... :-).

In all seriousness, I watched parts the videos from the John 3:16 conference; read Allen's rebuttal, etc. It is very disturbing that not only does he fail to seemingly comprehend what Calvinism teaches on essential doctrines concerning the character of God, election, reprobation, etc. but he also blatantly misrepresents what Calvinism actually does teach.

He doesn't have to agree, but at least he should demonstrate some integrity in the process.

But more grievous than that to me, was he failed to make and prove his own case biblically.

Q - has he responded to you yet personally? Is this potentially another Dr. Canor (without the obvious rudeness and angst) waiting to happen?

OK... now back to your most excellent song idea :-).

Rick Frueh said...

"Help" - what Arminians need in a debate.

"Imagine" - Universalism at its finest.

"I've just seen a face" - The charismatic experience.

"Nowhere Man" - the hyper emergent.

"Baby you're a Rich Man" - The health and wealth theme song.

"The Long and Winding Road - Salvation by works.

"Piggies" - Total depravity.

"Magical Mystery Tour - The current evangelical landscape.

SJ Camp said...

Rick
Really great - amazing!

After reading your entry, I can honestly say that it's all "Strawberry Fields Forever" :-).

Who says Calvinists can't have fun?
Campi

Rick Frueh said...

here is my comment on the Pyro post titled "You may be a hyper Calvinist if:

You might be a hyper-Calvinist if:

* You allow the waitress to choose your meal for you.
* You refer to your testimony as your “post election victory speech”.
* You believe Charles Finney was the anti-christ.
* You interpret the 70 x 70 forgiveness principle as proof of limited atonement.
* You say grace at meals because you find it irresistible.
* Your slightly dented car seems repairable but you claim it’s totaled.
* You refuse to vote because it misrepresents a spiritual principle.
* Your children call Calvin “Uncle John”.

John said...

Steve,
After reading your list of songs I think you really are a hyper calvinist...riddlin would really help.

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

having re read my comments on your last thread, I would like to ask for you forgiveness for some of the things that I said! I allowed myself to get carried away in the passion of the moment I suppose, 'no excuse'.
Your are a great brother in Christ from what I can see and I truly appreciate your words, albeit I may not agree with everything you say. I will be more careful in the future how I word things, it's kind of funny in that I sometimes feel that I feel I have a little more room to be more direct or cutting when posting commentaries on threads, but the fact is that I am still accountable to our wonderful gentle and compassionate Lord and Savior!
Anyway, I sincerely ask for you forgiveness!

Robert

PuritanReformed said...

Steve:

as long as you (and Dr. White) refuse to embrace a schizoprenic God and the view of universal expiation, Allen will continue to call you a "hyper", as per the definition of hyperism offered by the Amyraldian Tony Byrne: the "denial of God's universal saving will"

Tartanarmy said...

Well, I am no stranger to these matters. I was mentioned again by Tony Byrne recently on Gene Cooks Unchained Radio where he again misrepresented my position on these matters.

Steve and James are a great encouragement to me, and it is just wrong for Byrne and others to call you guys Hyper.

There is no excuse for it, but as Daniel above says, as long as we do not promote this "universal expiation" doctrine, that is at the root of Ponter and Byrne's theology, we shall be called Hyper.

Mark

Brian @ voiceofthesheep said...

Steve,

If what you and Dr. Oak believe and proclaim concerning the nature of who God is and how He works in the salvation of lost, depraved, dead, condemned, blind, dumb, wayward humanity is hyper-Calvinism, then I want in!

Who's with me? The line starts here.

ps. I don't have a musical tune to make a pithy point, but I do have an idea of how each side would want to title the debate which will never happen:

Calvinist title: "I See Dead People"

anti-Calvinist title: "Buried Alive"

SJ Camp said...

Don P
I was attending a church where the pastor taught Calvinism thusly- If we are dead in our trespasses and sins, a dead man is unable to cry out for help, he's dead!. Also, as to adoption,if you have it in mind to adopt a child, it is not the child who selects the parent, but the parent who selects the child. Does that make me Hyper Calvinist?

No it does not.

You have touched briefly on two key issues: the depravity of man and the Sovereignty of God. God must quicken us through the Holy Spirit in order for us to even confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives. That is the point of John 3.

And that secondly, we love Him because He first loved us. He pursued us; He chose us; He called us; He saved us; He justified us; He glorified us (cp. Roms. 8:28-31; Titus 3:4-7). Amen?

Now, in saying that, God does use the means of the proclamation of His gospel; the preaching of His Word; etc. in bringing about these things. It is not done in a vacuum. (Romans 10:9ff).

Thanks for your post.
Steve

SJ Camp said...

Stephen
Balance is the key here. Sinful man is responsible for his sin; but unless God regenerates him from the deadness of his sins and grants him repentance and saving faith - there is no salvation.

Our privileges in Christ do not abdicate our responsibility before Christ.

Romans 1 is clear; unregenerate people (which at one point includes all of us here) have suppressed the truth in unrighteousness and are deserving and worthy to receive the eternal wrath of a holy God in perdition's flames forever.

But SDG, God did not leave us in our sins but sent His Son that we might be granted eternal life and forgiveness through Jesus Christ by grace through faith alone. And that was all His doing not mine. Even my own ability to believe on Him, turn from my sins, confess Him as Lord and Savior of my life was His act of grace to me.

Amen?

SJ Camp said...

Chad V
Calvinism doesn't speak in terms of God's universal saving will. It speaks of his preceptive will verses his decretive will. If Allen won't engage Calvinists on those points, he seems to refuse to, then he will never understand Calvinism.

Exactly!

SJ Camp said...

The Seeking Disciple
I am honored you are here and commenting as well. THank you for your constant encouragement and insights you share with us all.

Campi

SJ Camp said...

G-Man
All is good and I appreciate you greatly. Thank you for your humility my brother...

Campi

Psalm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Steve:

If I am the "Stephen" you were addressing, then I will be happy to say "amen"! (Even if I am not the one, I will still say it. lol)

But, to say that faith is created when life is created, through the preaching of the gospel, does not deny any of this.

Blessings,

Stephen

Nathan White said...

Brother Steve--

I'm a little late catching up on all of this, but I was certainly surprised at your name being thrown in with these accusations. Ridiculous indeed, for your ministry speaks for itself (obviously, they either do not know or do not care to know much about you and your labors for the gospel).

Your reply was gracious and thorough, and I certainly hope these men do you the good service of clearly pointing out your errors :) I'm looking forward to the new tunes as well.

Press on,
Nathan